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Folk games enjoyed by ancestors over Chuseok holiday Updated: 2021-09-21 08:55:54 KST

Korea's thanksgiving holiday has two names, "Chuseok" and "Hangawi", and is one of the biggest traditional holidays in Korea.
As Chuseok is a celebration of abundance and prosperity, ancestors not only performed traditional rituals, but enjoyed playing folk games and eating delicious food.
Among lots of folk rituals related to "Chuseok", one that was often done was "gilnori".
Each village had its own samulnori troupe a traditional percussion quartet, which would go around each house in the village wishing for the elderly's good health and long life.
Making and drinking traditional Korean grain-based alcohol "makgeolli" is another popular activity during Chuseok.

"It has been a tradition to brew "makgeoli" using newly harvested rice right after the harvest."

The game "jukbangul" is a Korean version of the Chinese game diablo.
Though not specifically related to Chuseok, children would have played this folk game a lot when all the family members were gathered.

"It was played by everyone and it is on the folk paintings of the Joseon Dynasty. After carving small pieces of wood into the shape of a diablo, people would throw and catch them by holding two sticks connected by a thread."

The highlight of the Chuseok celebration would be the folk dance, which was added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2009.

"When the harvest moon rises in the eighth lunar month during the Chuseok holidays, village women would join their hands together and dance in a circle, wishing for bountiful harvest."

Though stories of its origins vary, it is said that "ganggangsullae" dates back to the Joseon Dynasty when young women wore military uniforms and made the Japanese army overestimate the number of Korean soldiers.
Women at the time had to live under strict rules, but during Chuseok, they were free from those rules and were able to sing aloud or go out at night.
Our ancestors enjoyed the holiday while hoping for prosperity.
Though the activities might differ, people still have the same wishes now.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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